The Tussle With The Demon

The Tussle With The Demon

Hues of orange painted the sky. I freed myself of the stained blanket and locked myself in the damp haven. The jingling of bells and carols heard at a distance surfaced a tidal wave of emotions I had buried in a dark corner of my heart. I turned the faucet on. Droplets of water trickled down my frame and submerged the salty beads that rested on my cheeks. The gushing sound of the water cascading from the shower muffled the faint cry.

The jagged edges of my monotonous life pierced my soul. I felt the ache to live ooze out of my meek existence. Loneliness has been haunting me for years now. Ignoring the demon that sunk its vicious teeth in my skin, I fed myself a concoction of positivity and motivation and tried to live a robust life. But the holiday season and the dearth of work during those dreadful days crept under my skin, frazzling my nerves. The fact that I wasn’t growing any younger and a series of failed relationships threw me into a hell hole of apathy. I wiped the fog off the mirror. All I saw was a self-loathing, grim, middle-aged man who would probably end up alone in a faraway grave. I closed my eyes. The thoughts tumbled into one another and formed a cocktail that threatened to choke me.

I retreated to a corner of the bathtub. Even the candle that emanated a whiff of lavender scent failed to banish the darkness that shrouded my mind. I drew my knees close to my chest and buried my head in my palms. The mere thought of the future scared me. Tears seemed to betray me. I felt the fiend hiding in the nook of my brain exploit the chemicals that kept me sane. The feeling of vulnerability benumbed me.

A piece of broken glass that lay unattended caught my attention. I stood up and inched towards it like a hypnotized soul. I gave an unblinking stare as it carved a grinning gash on my wrist. Blood amalgamated with my bottled emotions streamed out into the open making me feel light like a feather. I didn’t wince even once. The pain wasn’t of any consequence now. The clock ticked at a pace slower than usual. With every passing second, my pulse grew feebler. My breathing sank. The stench made me feel queasy. I retched. The contents of my gut lay on the mucky wooden floor.

My skin began to turn pale. A tinge of blue at the extremities made me shudder. My life wasn’t glamorous. Death didn’t allure me either. I lay still and waited for the angel of death to embrace me. Holding his hands tightly, I traveled to the other side of the world. I hoped that happiness will embrace me in the afterlife. My tribulations came to an end. A faint smile lingered on my withered face. I was gone for good. And forever.

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Latha Prakash
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